As BYOD explodes, IT managers learn to cope

Five tech departments share strategies for coping with BYOD.

Pity the poor IT manager trying to get his arms around the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) movement.

Even the most cutting-edge tech leaders -- those who are working to make mobile devices secure and productive corporate tools -- are feeling overwhelmed by the frenetic pace of change in the marketplace.

While Apple iOS devices have dominated the landscape, the surging popularity of Android phones and tablets and the emergence of platforms like Windows 8 and BlackBerry 10 promise to open the floodgates to an even wider range of personal devices vying for corporate resources. For IT, that means new and more complicated support and security challenges ahead.

The clock is ticking, says Christian Kane, an enterprise mobility analyst at Forrester Research. "Now is the time to figure out how to embrace [BYOD] by defining a strategy, determining who is eligible and what they have access to, and by becoming familiar with the platforms that can facilitate device management," he says.

Specifically, the pressure is on to devise a solid mobile device management (MDM) strategy, says Kane. At the same time, he acknowledges that tools and policies are still evolving. "This is just the start of a long journey," he says. "It's not as simple as saying, 'We will now allow employees to bring their devices to work and connect.' Requirements will continue to change."

With that uncertainty in mind, here's how five IT departments are mitigating BYOD-related pain points while plotting long-term strategies for mobile device management.

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